CARLSBAD — City officials, staff members and residents gathered together June 12 to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Alga Norte Community Park.
“The city has been working with the community to plan this park for more than 10 years, so seeing the groundbreaking come to life was very exciting,” said Chris Hazeltine, director at the City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Department. “We held the ceremony at the exact site of the new aquatic center, which is fitting given that this is one of the park’s most anticipated features; we had fun telling people they were sitting ‘in the pool.’”
Among the guests, Hazeltine said the city was particularly honored to have all seven members of its Parks and Recreation Commission there.
The park project has been a collaborative effort. Carlsbad residents participated in numerous meetings to share what was important to them for the design of their new park. The 32-acre site location will be at the corner of Poinsettia Lane and Alicante Road.
Hazeltine shared the construction will include pools, ball fields, a skate park, a dog park, a new playground and other amenities which support a healthy outdoor lifestyle for Carlsbad residents.
“The great thing about this park is that it really does offer something for everyone, even our four-legged friends. The community has really wanted another dog park,” he said. “Plans call for separate areas for small and large dogs and even a dog agility course.”
Additional ball fields in the city are meeting a demand since leagues for kids, adults, and seniors have grown more popular over the years.
“The aquatic center will allow us to offer more swimming lessons, provide a play area for younger kids who might not yet know how to swim, and a competition pool that can be used by lap swimmers, board divers, schools and athletic clubs,” Hazeltine said. “The new skate park has street skating and bowl skating venues segregated into separate areas for more experienced and less experience skaters.”
Walking trails are also part of the design.
The construction for Alga Norte Community Park is slated for June and the estimated park opening is scheduled for the end of 2013.
If people want to watch the construction progress, Hazeltine said, they are installing “port holes” in the construction fencing around the site, and lower ones to accommodate heights for children. These peeking opportunities will give residents a bird’s eye view on the progress.
Hazeltine wants people to know that in 2008, the City Council authorized a rough grading of the site to take advantage of lower construction costs during the recession. This grading preparation saved the city both time and money.
“We’d like to thank the community for their input over the years,” he said. “This park has been a long time in the making, and we’re thrilled to see it come to life.”
The city awarded $26 million to T.B. Penick & Sons, Inc. to build the park. The city also awarded $743,600 contract for construction management to Kitchell and a contract for $265,000 to Wimmer, Yamada and Caughey for design compliance.